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Journal of American Studies of Turkey

4 (1996) : 47-68.

American Archaeologists in Turkey: Intellectual and Social Dimensions

Charles Gates

A standard Turkish concept about archaeology, one attested by my students, (Note

1) is that Turkey is exceptionally rich in archaeological remains and, as a result,
foreigners naturally want to work here. But the world is full of archaeological
remains, even North America. The reasons why American and other foreign
archaeologists might choose to undertake research in Turkey instead of in other
countries are more complex than the Turkish public generally realizes. In this
article I examine the motives of American archaeologists who have worked in
Turkey. What they have found will be less important than why they came here in
the first place. Aspects of the problem include the academic/intellectual framework
into which the archaeology of Turkey fits in the United States, socio-political
factors, and changes through time. American archaeology in Turkey is seen to be a
component of US social and intellectual history, but it is a part of the social and
intellectual history of Turkey as well. (Note 2)

Archaeology in Turkey can be divided into three major periods: Pre-Classical,

Classical (Greek and Roman), and Medieval-Modern (Byzantine, Seljuk, and
Ottoman). This article is concerned with the American activities in the first two, the
third having rarely been the primary focus of archaeological work except when the
architectural history of specific buildings is under investigation. One further
restriction: I shall concentrate on work done within the borders of the Turkish
Republic of today, making only passing reference to research in adjacent areas once
held by the Ottoman Empire.

The Intellectual Background

Scientific archaeology began in Turkey in the second half of the 19th century under
the influence of European scholarship. Earlier, from the Renaissance on, Europeans
(and by extension Americans) had developed a keen interest in the material remains
of Classical cultures, especially of the Romans (who had occupied all of southern
and much of central Europe), with a focus on Italy (always a goal of artistically-
minded travellers). Classical culture had been known throughout the Middle Ages,
of course, especially with Latin in use as the liturgical language and lingua
franca of Western Christianity. After the Middle Ages, Roman and indeed all
Classical culture continued to be valued for its moral and political authority (West;
and Richard). As a result, Latin especially, but also Greek were widely studied,
even in Protestant areas, well into the 20th century (Clarke). In addition to this
interest in ancient literature, chance finds of Roman sculpture during the Italian
Renaissance contributed to the growing fascination with the material remains of
antiquity. One thinks especially of the Laocoon, the dramatic Hellenistic-Roman
statue group discovered in 1506 during a probing into the palace buildings of the
emperors Nero and Titus in the center of Rome; the impact of this sculpture in the
Renaissance was enormous (Bober and Rubinstein 152-155; Haskell and Penny
243-247). In addition, collections of Classical objects were formed (Weiss 180-
202); and at Pompeii, organized explorations began in 1748 and have continued to
the present day (Kraus 13-25).

The Ottoman Empire controlled lands once key provinces of ancient Greek and
Roman civilization. Travellers from Western Europe were few before the later 18th
century; restrictions and rigors of travel discouraging most (Stoneman 22-164;
Eisner 37-88; and Dinsmoor xvii-xxiii, for travellers interested specifically in
Greek architecture). When European travellers did make the trip and report on their
findings, the impact was tremendous (Constantine). James Stuart and Nicholas
Revett, architects who published detailed drawings of ancient Greek architectural
pieces seen during a trip to Greece in 1751-1753, are well-known representatives of
those voyagers whose work stimulated an interest in the specifically Greek
component of the Classical world. Johannes Winckelmann, a German scholar and
librarian resident in Rome, never travelled east of the Adriatic, but nonetheless
championed Greek art at the expense of later and derivative Roman in his highly
influential Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums (History of Ancient Art) of 1764.
Publications such as these led to the rise of the Neo-Classical style in European art
and architecture in the second half of the 18th century.

In the 19th century, European travellers continued to describe ancient sites in

Anatolia, and make drawings of the monuments (Stoneman 207-236 and 265-296).
In addition, they often took objects away, actual examples of Classical art, whether
or not official permits were granted. Ottoman authorities had paid scant attention to
such activities. This is not surprising, for the Latin and Greek languages and
Classical cultures naturally enough did not feature in the Islamic-oriented education
of Ottoman officials or resonate in their daily lives (Davison, Reform in the
Ottoman Empire 1856-1876 32-35; and Findley 51-56). Only with the quickening
of interest in European culture from the 1850s on did the Ottoman intelligentsia
develop along with Europeans a curiosity toward the antiquities of their lands (for
education and intellectual developments in the 19th century Ottoman empire, see
also Davison, Westernized Education in Ottoman Turkey and Davison, Reform in
the Ottoman Empire, passim; Findley 131-173; Shaw and Shaw 47-48, 105-113,
249-251, 447-448, and passim; and Ülken 35-93).
In the second half of the 19th century, important changes took place in archaeology
as practiced in the Ottoman Empire (Arsebük 68-71). Archaeological sites began to
be examined in a controlled way. Records were kept of the finds, and accounts of
discoveries were published for the benefit of scholars and the general public. These
developments were not exclusive to work in the Ottoman Empire, but were part of
broader changes in scientific methods in 19th-century Europe (Daniel 48-147; and
Trigger 73-206). At Classical sites in what is today Turkey, there was a gradual
shift toward this approach. Sustained campaigns were undertaken, as at Pergamon
(Note 3), not just raids on a single monument. At Troy in northwestern Turkey,
Heinrich Schliemann brought to light the impressive remains of a prehistoric
citadel, but the search grew out of his deep interest in the literature of ancient
Greece (Schliemann, Troy and its Remains 3-8 and Schliemann, Ilios: The City and
Country of the Trojans 1-20). Schliemann and especially his assistant and successor
Wilhelm Dörpfeld published their finds with admirable promptness, providing an
important early contribution to Bronze Age Aegean studies (Blegen 21-37 and 175-
176; for a critical view of Schliemanns honesty, see Traill, Excavating Schliemann:
Collected Papers on Schliemann and Traill, Schliemann of Troy. Treasure
and Deceit).

The Ottoman government itself developed an interest in things Classical (Atasoy

1458-1465). Sultan Abdulmejid and his son-in-law Fethi Ahmet Pasha began a
collection of antiquities in 1845, the basis for the Archaeological Museum of
stanbul. Stored first in the Hagia Eirene, a disaffected Byzantine church on the
grounds of the Topkapý Palace, then later transferred to the Çinili Köþk, a pavilion
built by Mehmet II, the collection obtained the home it deserved with the opening
of the present museum in 1891. Led by Europeans, Edward Goold then Anton
Dethier, the museum moved into a new era of expansion and activity with the
appointment in 1881 of Osman Hamdi Bey as director. He would remain in this
position until his death in 1910. Laws regulating archaeological activities were
issued first in 1874, then revised in 1884. This last set, which included a prohibition
on the export of antiquities, continued in effect with minor revisions until 1973
(Atasoy 1463-1465; see also Blake 274-281, with occasionally differing

American Archaeology in Turkey before World War I

It was into this world that American archaeologists first stepped in 1881. Architects
Joseph Clarke and Francis Bacon conducted excavations at Assos, in northwestern
Turkey, on behalf of the Archaeological Institute of America from 1881 to 1883
(Clarke, Report on the Investigations at Assos, 1881 and Clarke, Report on the
Investigations at Assos, 1882, 1883; Clarke, Bacon, and Koldewey; and PECS104-
105). For a first foray into Classical archaeology, Assos seems a surprising choice:
a remote town that figured little in ancient history. But Clarke and Bacons interest
was architecture, and Assos contains an early and unusual Temple of Athena, ca.
550 BC, an example of the Doric order combined with unexpected architectural
sculpture in a region dominated by the Ionic order. The two architects, aiming to
recover actual examples of ancient Greek architecture (Van Zanten 178), stood
firmly in the 19th-century tradition of historians of Classical art and architecture.

The next American project was at Sardis, where Howard Crosby Butler, another
architectural historian who had already worked on Late Roman sites in Syria,
directed excavations from 1910 to 1914. (Note 4) Like the excavations at Assos,
the Sardis project had Classical tie-ins; indeed, before World War I, no American
expedition was mounted in search of prehistoric remains within the borders of
today's Turkey. Butlers aim was to get information about the Near Eastern
contribution to Classical art and architecture. But as it so happened, work focused
on the huge Hellenistic-Roman Temple of Artemis. The project was stopped by the
outbreak of World War I. Appointed in 1919 to head the newly-founded School of
Architecture at Princeton University, Butler returned only briefly to Sardis in 1921
before his death at age 50 in 1922 (Note 5) (Van Zanten 176 and 178-182).

Let us characterize American archaeology in the Mediterranean, Near East, and

Egypt on the eve of World War I. Classical art reigned supreme. It was taught as an
adjunct to language and literature in Classics departments, and formed the major
component of programs in art history departments founded especially in the Ivy
League colleges and in womens colleges (Smyth and Lukehart). Major research
centers for Classical studies had been founded in Athens and Rome: the American
School of Classical Studies at Athens (founded in 1881) and the American
Academy in Rome (1894, the School of Classical Studies). Note that Ýstanbul,
although a major historical center in the larger southeastern European (eastern
Mediterranean) region, was not yet an important center for research into Classical
or any other branch of antiquity. (Note 6)

Other Old World civilizations were also much studied (Trigger 35-45; and Wright).
Texts were always the key, just as Greek and Latin texts had fueled interest in
Classical cultures. The Bible stimulated archaeological exploratio in Palestine, with
emphasis on the first millennium BC (Silberman 1982; Bar-Yose and Mazar; and
Blakely). In Iraq and Syria, the decipherment, in the mid- to late 19th-century, of
Akkadian and Sumerian allowed a deeper understanding of Mesopotamian cultures
(Lloyd). And in Egypt, whose ancient writing system was deciphered in the early
19th century, the study of texts and well-preserved architecture and art was well
advanced by World War I (Hobson). Each of these areas would become a
specialized field of study. At this time archaeology itself consisted first and
foremost of the description of objects (antiquarianism); from these descriptions,
deductions were drawn. For most, archaeology in the Eastern Mediterranean was
considered either the record of the Great Monuments of ancient art, or else a
handmaiden to the information gleaned from texts (for additional bibliography on
the history of archaeology in this region, see Silberman, Between Past and Present.
Archaeology, Ideology, and Nationalism in the Modern Middle East 249-273).
The study of pre-Classical Turkey grew out of such studies of neighboring areas.
Schliemanns search was inspired by Classical literature. Although the rediscovery
of the Hittites grew out of an interest in the Biblical world and the Ancient Near
East, the German explorations at Boðazköy/Hattusha, the Hittite capital, were given
new impetus by the decipherment of the Hittite language in the early 20th century
(Gurney 1-11).

Between the two World Wars

New excavations on Greco-Roman sites were begun by American teams:
Colophon, in the Aegean coastal territory briefly occupied by Greece after World
War I (PECS 233); Pisidian Antioch, near Yalvaç (PECS 60-61); and Antioch
(Antakya), then in the French-occupied Sanjak of Alexandretta (PECS 61-63). But
the inter-war period was particularly notable for the American entry into the
prehistoric and pre-Classical field. At Troy, Carl Blegen (Note 7) of the University
of Cincinnati excavated from 1932 to 1938, supplementing the findings of
Schliemann and Dörpfeld (Blegen). The Oriental Institute of the University of
Chicago was founded in 1919 by the Egyptologist James Breasted with financing
from John D. Rockefeller, Jr., to promote research into the cultures of the Ancient
Near East and Egypt (Jacobsen and Wilson; and Wilson). The Institute sponsored
teams that conducted important surveys in central Anatolia and excavations at
Aliþar Höyük (near Yozgat) under the direction of a German adventurer, Hans
Henning von der Osten, (Note 8) and in the Amuq Plain, northeast of Antakya, by
Robert Braidwood (see his Mounds in the Plain of Antioch. An Archaeological
Survey andExplorations in the Plain of Antioch. For Braidwoods reflections on
archaeology and his career, see Braidwood, Archaeological Retrospect 2 and
Braidwood, Some Selected Archaeological Reflections).

In 1935 Hetty Goldman of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, began
excavations at Gözlü Kule, the prehistoric settlement at Tarsus (Goldman et al.).
Goldmans work, first at Colophon then at Gözlü Kule, marks the start of the
participation of women archaeologists, American or American-based, in the
archaeology of Turkey. Much credit must go to Bryn Mawr, Goldmans alma mater,
the small yet distinguished womens college whose perennially strong programs in
Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology have encouraged many students to enter
the field. (Note 9)

Another strand in the study of ancient Turkey that would eventually affect America
was the appointment to academic posts in Turkey of German scholars expelled by
the Nazi regime in 1933. Ýstanbul University was newly reorganized and Ankara
University would shortly be founded, (Note 10) both following the model of
German universities. Both benefitted from these emigr professors who taught in all
fields (Widmann; and Neumark). Like Hittitologist Hans Güterbock, many began
by lecturing in German with translation into Turkish, but eventually were able to
give the lectures themselves in Turkish. A nationalist reaction in 1948 led to the
dismissal of these foreign professors. Several eventually found positions in the
United States. Güterbock, for example, after a short stint in Sweden, was hired by
the Oriental Institute, from where he has continued to advance the study of ancient

By 1939, German archaeological research was dominant in Turkey. The large

projects at Pergamon, Miletus, and Boðazköy/Hattusha, and the Austrian
excavations at Ephesus had already uncovered much and published well. In 1929
the German Archaeological Institute established a center in Ýstanbul to further its
research projects; this institute contains the finest archaeological library in the
country (Eyice). With the organization of Ýstanbul and Ankara Universities on
German models, some students were sent to Germany to study archaeology. Today
still, if a Turkish archaeology student can study abroad, Germany remains a
popular choice. The French government also established a research center in
Ýstanbul in 1930, now called the French Institute for Anatolian Studies (Tibet).

From American eyes, the study of ancient Turkey clearly fell between the cracks.
Classics and Classical archaeology were centered in Athens and Rome, with their
big research centers. Biblical, Mesopotamian, and Egyptian archaeology dominated
oriental studies programs. The Americans had yet to establish a center in Turkey.
Indeed, was there such a thing as the Archaeology of Turkey? Was it a unified,
coherent subject, or was it split between Classics (with well-preserved sites
clustered on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts) and the Ancient Near East (with
the Bronze and Iron Age sites of the plateau)? In Turkey itself, this fragmentation
was institutionalized, with separate university departments for Prehistory
(Paleolithic and Neolithic), Ancient Near Eastern (especially Bronze and Iron
Ages), and Classical archaeology. But archaeology itself was privileged, with
Atatürk promoting the study of the Hittites and even the Sumerians as possible
ancestors of the Turks, a way of giving the Turkish people a stake in the antiquity
of their country and region (Önder). Despite the failure to prove these connections,
and despite the multiplicity of cultures who have lived in this land, for Turks, at
least, the Archaeology of Turkey was and still is sui generis, a coherent subject.

Since World War II

When archaeological activity resumed after the hiatus of the war years, we see that
the traditional kind of project continued: there were large-scale excavations with a
focus on the Greeks and Romans. A new interest developed concerning the
Anatolian Iron Age peoples contemporary with early Greeks, notably the Phrygians
and the Lydians. The University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania began
excavations in 1950 at Gordion, west of Ankara, under the direction of Rodney
Young, with a search for the Phrygian component as a major aim (for a summary of
findings at Gordion through the mid 1970s, see PECS 360; for a thorough and more
recent bibliography and orientation to research at Gordion, see Sams xvii-xxxii and
1-17; for an appreciation of Rodney Young and his work, see DeVries, Rodney
Stuart Young, 1907-1974; Thompson; and Edwards). At Sardis, George M. A.
Hanfmann and his Harvard-Cornell-ASOR (Note 11) team resumed American
work in 1958; here, the Lydians were targeted (for a summary of discoveries at
Sardis through the mid-1970s, see PECS 808-810; see also Hanfmann, Letters
from Sardis; and Sardis from Prehistoric to Roman Times; for an appreciation of
Hanfmann and his work see Mitten). Kenan Erim, a professor at New York
University, began full-scale excavations at Aphrodisias in 1961. (Note 12) In
contrast to Young and Hanfmann, his interests were purely Classical, focused on
the great monuments of art and architecture, aims of the sort that Clarke, Bacon,
and Butler would have appreciated. Although the site would also yield prehistoric
remains (Joukowsky), Erim himself was enthralled by the high quality Roman
sculpture that emerged in great quantities. All three men (Young, Hanfmann, and
Erim) were trained in the Classics, in philology first of all, in Classical art and
archaeology secondarily. Young and Erim, at least, were conservative in their aims.
They featured a historical-descriptive approach, and in the field used large crews to
clear whatever individual architectural monuments might fortuitously pop into
view. (Note 13) Such procedures typified the discipline of Classical Archaeology
as practiced in the Mediterranean region until very recently.

Traditional approaches were applied in prehistoric archaeology, too. Machteld

Mellink, a Dutch scholar trained in the Classics, joined Hetty Goldmans post-
World War II team at Tarsus. Immediately fascinated by Anatolian prehistory,
Mellink went on to become a leading expert in this field. A professor at Bryn Mawr
College, her influence among archaeologists working in Turkey cannot be
overestimated. From 1955 to 1993, her annual newsletter Archaeology in Asia
Minor (later Archaeology in Anatolia) published in the American Journal of
Archaeology was the internationally consulted summary of yearly archaeological
activity in Turkey. (Note 14) From 1963 to 1975, Mellink conducted her own
research project, the excavation of an Early Bronze Age settlement at Karatas-
Semayük near Elmalý (northwest of Antalya), which allowed American students to
take part in research in Anatolian prehistory (Eslick; and Warner).

The above projects continued methods and scientific goals that had their roots in
pre-World War II archaeology. Beginning especially in the 1960s, several new
factors have complemented such traditional approaches. Some have affected
archaeologists of all nationalities, whereas others have concerned American
archaeologists in particular.

1)The revelation of Neolithic cultures in Turkey. These, already attested from

Mesopotamia, were revealed in Turkey, thanks especially to the British excavations
at Hacýlar and Çatal Hüyük. (Note 15)During the Neolithic period people made the
important transition from hunter-gatherer societies to settled communities, with
control of food sources (domestication of plants and animals), development of
fixed villages and towns, and new technologies such as pottery (with metallurgy to
follow). Americans would eventually take part in illuminating this important era:
with Robert and Linda Braidwood in a joint Turkish-American-German project at
Çayönü, near Diyarbakýr (Braidwood and Çambel; and M. and A. Özdoðan);
Jacques Bordaz at Suberde and Erbaba (west-central Turkey); and in recent years
Michael Rosenberg at Hallan Çemi, near Batman (Rosenberg).

2)The development of underwater, or nautical, archaeology. This was due to an

American initiative. When the University Museum of the University of
Pennsylvania was contacted about the likelihood of investigating a shipwreck
discovered off Cape Gelidonya, southwest of Antalya, Rodney Young, chair of the
Classical Archaeology department, assigned graduate student George Bass to the
project. Bass learned how to scuba dive, and in 1960 directed an excavation of this
wreck of ca. 1200 BC, then the earliest ship known anywhere in the world, and
published the results for his Ph.D. dissertation (Bass). Bass went on to found the
Institute for Nautical Archaeology. Based at Texas A & M University, the Institute
has undertaken excavations throughout the world. In Turkey, with its important
regional center in Bodrum, the Institute and its members have cooperated with the
Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology and Turkish colleagues in the
excavation and conservation of several more shipwrecks in Turkish Aegean and
Mediterranean waters.

3)Dendrochronology (dating by tree rings). Another dissertation prepared for the

Department of Classical Archaeology at the University of Pennsylvania has also led
to the creation of a distinctive research niche. Peter Kuniholm began by examining
the wood from Phrygian tumuli at Gordion. From the growth rings of these logs, he
was able to construct a relative chronology, on the model developed for the
archaeology of the soutwestern United States. During the past 20 years Kuniholm
(of Cornell University) has taken countless samples of wood, especially from
Turkey and Greece, from periods ancient, medieval, and modern, and extended his
chronology back 6000 years. In the process he has created an awareness of the
value of dendrochronology that otherwise quite simply would not have existed.
(Note 16)

4)The founding of the American Research Institute in Turkey (ARIT). In 1964, a

consortium of American and Canadian universities founded ARIT in order to assist
North American scholars doing research on Turkey in the humanities and social
sciences in all periods. Funds provided by the subscribing universities were used to
maintain the headquarters, including a library open to the public, and to provide
fellowships for scholars from the supporting universities. In addition, short-term
scholarships have been awarded to Turkish scholars to pursue research inside
Turkey; these grants, even if modest, have been much appreciated because such
resources are otherwise scarce. Several US government agencies, notably the
United States Information Service, have granted money for various purposes,
including fellowships specifically for American citizens. The original Ýstanbul
center was soon supplemented with a branch in Ankara, to serve the needs of
archaeologists and specialists in the Turkish Republic. Since then, the Ýstanbul
center has catered particularly to students of Ottoman and Byzantine civilizations.
The ARIT branches do not match the centers in Athens or Rome in the size of their
libraries or facilities, but the Institute has played a highly appreciated support role
for hundreds of scholars, North American, Turkish, and other. (Note 17)

5)The fall of the Shah in 1979 and the end of archaeological exploration in Iran
(reinforced by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the same year). Iran in
particular had become a training ground for American archaeologists educated in
anthropology. Virtually all American archaeologists presented so far were trained
in Classics, or perhaps art history or oriental studies, the dominant mother fields for
the study of ancient Mediterranean art and cultures. Archaeology as practiced in
anthropology departments has been heavily influenced by developments in cultural
or social anthropology. Moreover, it has concentrated on other regions of the world,
such as the New World and pre-Classical Europe. Anthropological archaeologists
tend to develop theoretical aims for their research, questions they would like to
answer through excavation, whereas the traditional Classical archaeologists pick a
site because of its interesting historical background or art and architectural remains,
and then study whatever happens to come up, formulating generalizations
accordingly. The quality of work of both schools can be high; it is the approach that
is different, and of course the whole background of study can differ.

After World War II, the archaeological component of the field of anthropology
took up an interest in the ancient Near East. Robert Dyson of the University
Museum began his highly influential excavations at Hasanlu in Northwestern Iran
in 1957, and over the next two decades trained many students who now hold
prominent positions in Old World archaeology. After the fall of the Shah the new
regime shut down all foreign archaeological work. Americans who had built their
careers in Iran were suddenly dispossessed. These intellectual refugees sought new
areas. Afghanistan was closed because of the Soviet invasion. Iraq and Syria
welcomed some, although political tensions with the United States created
underlying uncertainties for such projects, and the 1991 Gulf War closed Iraq to
American and European excavations. Turkey proved to be the most sympathetic
home. Just as Turkey welcomed German refugees in the 1930s, so too it has
welcomed the scientific refugees from the political turbulence in the east. All have
pursued projects in Anatolian prehistory, many in the southeastern quadrant of
Turkey, the area closest to those regions heretofore familiar.

A unique confrontation of the two schools of American archaeology in the Eastern

Mediterranean and Near East is to be found at Gordion, where Dyson student and
former excavator in Iran Mary Voigt (of the College of William and Mary) directs
the current excavation campaigns, begun in 1988, while project director G. Kenneth
Sams (of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), a student of Rodney
Young and veteran Gordionite, represents the school of archaeologists trained in
Classics and art history. From all reports this has been a stimulating encounter.
6)Large-scale salvage projects. The building of dams on the Euphrates River in
eastern Turkey gave rise to two major archaeological salvage campaigns, both
supervised by Middle East Technical University: the Keban project (Elazýð
province), and the Atatürk and Karababa dams project in Adýyaman and Urfa (now
Þanlýurfa) provinces. (Note 18) Government permits, not always easily obtained,
were freely granted for these areas soon to be flooded. The resulting project proved
important training gounds for archaeologists of all nationalities. American salvage
excavations in the early 1980s at Gritille (Ellis) and Kurban Hüyük (Marfoe)
offered excavation experience to many, including anthropological archaeologists
who in previous decades would have trained in Iran. Three such former students are
now directing projects in the Þanlýurfa province: Guillermo Algaze at Titriþ Höyük
(Algaze et al.), Gil Stein at Hacýnebi Tepe (Stein et al.), and Patricia Wattenmaker
at Kazane Höyük (Gates 217).

7)The Annual Archaeological Symposium. In 1979 the General Directorate of

Monuments and Museums of the Turkish Ministry of Culture initiated an annual
symposium at which results of the previous years excavations, surveys, and
archaeometrical research would be presented by Turkish and foreign scholars. This
meeting has become an essential institution of Turkish archaeology, the best way to
get an overview of what has happened, to see what methods are being used, and to
meet with fellow archaeologists. Especially for pre-Classical periods, in which
methods and aims evolve quickly, the Symposium has been an influential forum for
the dissemination of information. It now seems incredible that archaeology in
Turkey existed so long without it.

Current developments: the 1990s.

Gordion is not the only site that has witnessed changing methods and approaches.
At Aphrodisias, following Erims death in 1990, the project is now run by a new
generation, R. R. R. Smith and Christopher Ratté, who have announced research
goals that parallel procedures in anthropological archaeology: e.g. search for the
overall city plan, instead of concentrating on isolated buildings (Smith and Ratté).
In sites of all periods, interest is increasing in the contribution that science can
make to archaeology. Aslýhan Yener of the Oriental Institute, with her surveys and
excavations in the metal-rich Taurus Mountains in the Niðde province and research
on Early Bronze Age metallurgy, has brought attention to projects in which
scientific analysis and collaboration with scientific specialists and archaeometrists
is essential (Yener and Vandiver).

The 1990s have seen other trends as well, such as a new emphasis on regional and
site surveys, in fact mandated for all excavation projects by the General Directorate
of Monuments and Museums. American participation has been particularly active
in the southeast, with Mitchell Rothman surveying in the region of Muþ and
Elizabeth Carter in the province of Kahramanmaraþ (Rothman; and Carter). (Note
19)Restoration projects continue to be favored by the government, partly as tourist
draws. All major Classical sites have or are undertaking such projects; the two
major American Classical excavations, Sardis and Aphrodisias, have certainly done
their share. Another influential factor in contemporary Turkey is the pressure from
development, vacation centers in coastal areas, and roads and miscellaneous
industrial and construction projects throughout the country. Solutions need to be
found that can accomodate the wishes of both developers and preservers of the
country's cultural heritage. In contrast to America, Turkey lacks well-organized
protest groups, so the pressure against the financial interests of the developers often
amounts to little.

Lastly, we might note the opening in 1988 of a Department of Archaeology and

History of Art at Bilkent University in Ankara. The language of instruction at
Bilkent is English, and this is the first Archaeology department opened at an
English-language university in Turkey. This development reflects a need for a
multilingual archaeology program; since archaeology is an international discipline,
the specialist in ancient Turkey needs to be able to read English, German, and
French as well as Turkish. Turkish-language programs have suffered from a lack of
materials available in Turkish, and whether or not students can read English,
German, or French has always been an ad hoc matter. Indeed, apart from certain
select bilingual schools, the teaching of foreign languages in Turkish primary and
secondary schools has generally been insufficient. At Bilkents department, it is
guaranteed that an entire group of undergraduates can function in English, using
English materials as well as, of course, those of any other language a student might
happen to know, thereby increasing the international exposure of Turkish
archaeology students. The Bilkent department also offers a place where American
and other foreign scholars and students can join Turks in the study of the
archaeology of Turkey and the entire eastern Mediterranean, creating an
international outlook for archaeology in Turkish academia unprecedented since the
days of the German refugees in the 1930s and 1940s.

The Future

The big Classical sites will continue, but as at Aphrodisias, aims will be made
explicit and limited simply because it is impossible for American teams to find the
sort of open-ended financial support that once allowed such projects to go on
indefinitely. From 1995 on the situation has become particularly difficult, with the
Republican majority in the US Congress eager to cut government programs. One
victim is the National Endowment for the Humanities, in recent years a major
source of funding for American archaeologists in Turkey.

The influence of anthropological archaeology will continue to penetrate Classical

studies, at least as practiced by Americans. (Note 20) Such influence should
eventually influence Classical archaeology as practiced by Turks. In contrast to the
American situation, anthropology in Turkey means social or cultural anthropology
without the disciplinary link to archaeology. Anthropology may thus seem more
distant to Turks than it does to archaeologists from the United States. The
important change for America, I think, will stem from the big question posed
earlier: is there an Archaeology of Turkey? As discussed above, the answer has
traditionally been No, since the American academic structure favors on the one
hand Classical archaeology, centered on Rome and Athens, and on the other hand
Near Eastern archaeology, centered in Syria and Iraq, with its complementary fields
of Biblical archaeology (Palestine) and Egyptology. This surely will change,
because of the changing role of the Classics in American education (Damrosch).
The study of Greek and Latin languages, which occupied a preeminent position in
European and American education well into the 20th century, is declining. Students
capable of doing advanced work in Classical literature are rare. As a result, Classics
departments, a venerable part of every American university, have had to offer new
courses in literature in translation, and in Classical culture and society, in order to
secure high enrollments to balance the small classes of advanced Greek and Latin.
More will have to be done, because within a few decades ancient Greek and Latin
will be studied as rarely as ancient Egyptian, Akkadian, or Sumerian. A solution I
support is the restructuring of Classics departments as departments of ancient
Mediterranean cultures, in which Greek and Roman civilizations are studied
together with the Ancient Near Eastern and Egyptian worlds. Students would be
exposed to all cultures of the region. A healthier understanding of each culture and
its interactions with others will be the result. In such a new curriculum, the
archaeology of Turkey will be able to take its rightful place, no longer neither fish
nor fowl, but an essential component of the larger region, with its own particular
witness of the passage of civilizations. The Turkish government should enlist
American and indeed teams of all nationalities in the creative protecting and
promoting of archaeological and historical sites, not only with surveys and
preservation projects, as done already, but also with the dissemination of
information about archaeology and historical sites to the Turkish public at large.
Archaeology should not be considered an elitist pursuit, but an essential component
of the cultural heritage of every citizen of this country. How to make the past
relevant to society at large is a challenge faced not only by Turkey, but indeed by
most countries. For vigorous minds throughout the world, there is much scope for
bold, imaginative solutions.


This paper is based on a lecture given to the American Studies Association of

Turkey on May 2, 1995, in Ankara. I would like to thank Gülriz Büken and Gönül
Pultar for the invitation to speak on that occasion. In addition, I am grateful to Toni
Cross and Marie-Henriette Gates for their comments on preliminary versions of this
paper, to Antony Greenwood and Akþin Somel for discussion and bibliography
about 19th and 20th century Ottoman and Turkish intellectual history, to Danielle
Newland, Mary Voigt, Aslýhan Yener, and Geoffrey Summers for bibliographic
help, and to Peter Kuniholm for details of his childhood in Ankara and for
information about George C. Miles.


Such concepts have been explored in a fourth-year undergraduate course offered by

the Department of Archaeology and History of Art at Bilkent University, Museum
Practices and Preservation of Cultural Heritage.
[Back to Text]

Plunderers and spies have also taken part in archaeology in Turkey. But with strict
governmental controls in the granting of permits and the monitoring of field
research (a government representative accompanies each excavation team, whether
foreign or Turkish), authorized archaeologists are very unlikely to take part in such
illegal activities. I shall not deal with these topics here; for a comprehensive
treatment of illegal excavations and the smuggling of antiquities, see Meyer; and
Rose and Acar.
[Back to Text]

Excavations at Pergamon began in 1878, under the direction of Carl Humann and
Alexander Conze. For a summary of the history of excavations at Pergamon, see
Radt 333-359.
[Back to Text]

For a bibliography of the Butler expedition as well as the later American

excavations directed by George Hanfmann from 1958 to 1975, see
Hanfmann, Sardis from Prehistoric to Roman Times xvii-xxvi. For a summary of
the findings at Sardis through the mid-1970s, see PECS 808-810.
[Back to Text]

Butlers visit in 1921 is attested by Hanfmann (Letters from Sardis 7). A 1922
season was conducted by T. Leslie Shear; in the aftermath of the Greco-Turkish
war, no further work was done. See note 4 for bibliography.
[Back to Text]

The first two foreign research institutes in stanbul were short-lived: the Russian
Archaeological Institute, 1895-1914, and the Hungarian Institute, 1917-1918
(Arsebük 71; Çoruhlu Macar Enstitüsü and Çoruhlu Rus Arkeoloji Enstitüsü).
[Back to Text]

For a brief biography of Blegen, see Coulson 2. A part of Mr. and Mrs. Blegens
personal library duplicates of books already held by the American School of
Classical Studies at Athensforms the core of the library of the Ankara branch of the
American Research Institute in Turkey.
[Back to Text]

For bibliography about Aliþar Höyük, see Gorny, The 1993 Season at Aliþar
Höyük in Central Turkey. Ronald Gorny, a graduate of the Oriental Institute, has
resumed work at Aliþar and surroundings after a fallow period of some 60 years
(see also Gorny et al.).
[Back to Text]

For an appreciation of Goldmans work, including a lecture delivered by Goldman

at Bryn Mawr College in 1955, see A Symposium in Memory of Hetty Goldman.
[Back to Text]


An Institute of Archaeology was opened at Ýstanbul University in 1933; at Ankara

University, archaeology was part of the academic program of the Dil ve Tarih-
Coðrafya Fakültesi (the Faculty of Languages and History-Geography) opened in
1936. It is now the Department of Archaelogy.
[Back to Text]


The American School of Oriental Research, founded in 1900 to facilitate the study
and training of American scholars in the Near East (Wright 18), with focus on
antiquity. Centers were established first in Jerusalem and later, in 1919, in
Baghdad. The main emphasis of ASOR-sponsored research has lain to the south of
Turkey, in Palestine/Israel, Iraq, Jordan, and Cyprus (King). In Turkey, in addition
to Sardis, ASOR sponsored the excavations at Nemrud Dað, the late Hellenistic
sanctuary of Antiochus I of Commagene, conducted during 1953-1956 by Theresa
Goell. A Radcliffe graduate with some advanced training in architecture, Goell
worked at Tarsus after World War II. She later joined F. Dörner at Arsameia, then
pursued her own studies at Nemrud Dað and the Commagenian capital at Samsat.
With no advanced degrees, Goell had no formal academic position and remained a
loner in Anatolian archaeology. She was a colorful character, however, and her life
would make a wonderfully entertaining biography. Her papers are kept at Harvard
University's Semitic Museum (see D. Sanders xiiixliv).
[Back to Text]


For a summary of work at Aphrodisias, PECS 68-70; and Erim. Concerning the life
and achievements of Erim, see Bowersock.

Although Turkish by background, Kenan Erim lived most of his life in Switzerland
and the United States. The son of a Turkish diplomat, he received his primary and
secondary education in Geneva; his B.A. from New York University; and his Ph.D.
from Princeton University. I assume he spent less time in Turkey than Peter
Kuniholm. In any case, he was not a native-born American and belongs in the
category of foreign-born archaelogists such as Hanfmann and Mellink. I worked
with him for a month in Aphrodisias in 1973.
[Back to Text]


The 1950s and 1960s were prosperous years for America. Archaeological projects
could be well funded by both governmental and private sources and thus could
operate on the comfortable scale directors wished. After the oil embargo of late
1973, the American economy faced pressure, and financial support had to be fought
for. But funding could usually be found.
[Back to Text]


The newsletter has continued, now written by Marie-Henriette Gates, an American

scholar teaching in the Department of Archaeology and History of Art at Bilkent
University. Gates was an undergraduate student of Mellink at Bryn Mawr; in
Turkey she took part in excavations at Karatas-Semayük, Aphrodisias, and Gritille,
and now directs excavations at Kinet Höyük.
[Back to Text]


British research was facilitated by the opening in Ankara in 1949 of the British
Institute of Archaeology, the first foreign research institute established in the
capital. For a recent overview of research into the Neolithic period in Turkey, see
[Back to Text]


Peter Kuniholm is also of interest for his background. Although several of the
scholars mentioned here were born and raised outside the United States (such as
Güterbock, Hanfmann, Erim, and Mellink), Kuniholm is the only American
archaeologist working in Turkey who actually spent part of his childhood in this
country. His father was a diplomat, the first secretary of the American Embassy in
Ankara during 1949-1952. Among other activities, Kuniholm belonged to a
Turkish American Youth Club that helped plant and water 5,000 pine seedlings
around Anýtkabir, Atatürks mausoleum. Later, during 1962-1968, as a college
graduate but before beginning graduate studies in archaeology, he taught English at
Robert Academy (as the present Robert Lisesi used to be called then) in Ýstanbul.
In doing so it happened that he was following in the footsteps of his wife's father,
Gordon Merriam, and uncles, Ellis Briggs and Islamic numismatist George C.
Miles, who had taught at the same school during 1921-1922 and 1929-1933.
Moreover, his brother Bruce Kuniholm, now a specialist on Turkish and Middle
Eastern politics, joined him on the teaching staff during 1964-1967 (Personal
communications from Peter Kuniholm).

Concerning another group of Americans who lived in Turkey, it is of interest to

note that none of the Peace Corps volunteers active in the country during the 1960s
became archaeologists, in contrast with the several whose experiences inspired
them to study Ottoman history, Turkish language and literature, etc.
[Back to Text]


Personal communication from Toni Cross, director of ARIT-Ankara; and publicity

brochures of ARIT.
[Back to Text]


It needs to be stressed that sites do not remain intact underwater, but instead are
dispersed by the movements of the water: hence the need to investigate them before
they are flooded.
[Back to Text]


Four earlier projects of the Oriental Institute have been resumed with regional
survey as a key component, three by Americans or American teams--Gavurkalesi
(Lumsden), Aliþar Höyük (Gorny, The 1993 Season at Aliþar Höyük in Central
Turkey; Gorny et al., The Aliþar Regional Project 1994), and the Amuq Plain, from
1995, under the direction of Aslýhan Yener and one by a British team, Kerkenes
Dað (Summers et al.).
[Back to Text]


For a rich and bracing history and evaluation of Classical archaeology within the
realm of Classical studies, with a focus on Greek archaeology, see Morris.
[Back to Text]

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